CTP three years on

Warren Herbert, K&M’s general manager says the company’s big focus is on establishing comprehensive in-house services.
“Being provincial, our options with trade pre-press had been very limited. We found this frustrating, relying on out-workers did not offer the best solutions for our clients. We decided to take control of our pre-press process, to improve it and add value to our service. We saw that film would diminish as hot type did 20 years ago, so CTP was our decision. We didn’t want to duplicate the facilities or processes of other printers.”

CTP was very new technological territory in 2001 and there were only a couple of installations in the country at that time. The team at K&M did their market research carefully. They spent some time with Rainbow Print in Christchurch who were leading the chase in introducing CTP. They wanted a future-proof system that was cost effective and flexible.

K&M’s decision to break into CTP with a Topsetter 74 was aided and abetted by Heidelberg. At the time orders for the already market established Trendsetter were queued up, and in order to meet K&M’s deadline to install a CTP platesetter the Topsetter became the most appealing alternative option.
“It was certainly the standout output device with its semi-automatic features and ability to be upgraded,” Herbert says.

He says the effect of K&M installing the Topsetter 74 has been dramatic. “We went from 80 per cent film supplied by clients, to 92 per cent disk within three months. We used up our initial quarterly plate order in 30 days. Our clients loved the flexibility, the speed at which we could turn a proof around, and the ability to match the proof on the press. The very visible quality improvements of first generation dots to the plate impressed clients.”

The compactness of the Topsetter 74 and its ease of use and flexibility are attributes K&M operators appreciate. Herbert says that any problems experienced along the way have mainly been related to the actual plates, the machine itself proving very reliable.

He says while being established in a provincial city has caused the occasional service hiccup Heidelberg’s follow-up support has on the whole been very good. “The technical expertise at Heidelberg is unmatched, their overall solution to printing is also the only realistic concept. It certainly comes at a price, but is that not true of all good value products?”

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